Many grocery stores close in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, but some still selling nonperishables

Power expected to be out several days in parts of Eastern Iowa

You’ve heard of stress eating, right?

Power outages that kept many Cedar Rapids grocery stores closed Tuesday made it really hard to binge – unless your freezer was full of ice cream starting to liquefy.

Linn County Fareway and Aldi stores were closed Tuesday because of power outages caused by Monday’s storm, spokespeople confirmed.

Many Corridor Hy-Vee stores, as well as Johnson County Fareways and Aldi’s, were open, although most were operating with generators and had to dispose of refrigerated items they could not fit on cold storage trucks.

“There are people getting through, but they can’t get milk or meat or anything like that,” said Tony Morrow, director of the Hy-Vee store on First Avenue in Iowa City, which was selling only nonperishables. But “as many people are out of power, they aren’t going to stock up on groceries.”

Some people who have been ordering groceries online because of COVID-19 were thwarted by the power outages. Instacart, a California company that processes Aldi’s online orders, allowed orders Monday evening, but the Iowa City Aldi wasn’t prepared to fulfill orders Tuesday and the store was closed much of the day.  

Aldi encouraged customers in this situation to go to and chat online with an Instacart representative.

Gazette readers reported the Wilson Avenue HyVee was grilling up hot dogs before the meat could spoil and cash registers were accepting credit and cash only. The Kum & Go on Second Street in Coralville could only take cash, but that didn’t keep cars from lining up at the gas pumps. Ice was sold out at many convenience stores.

Many Eastern Iowans without electricity were seeking fast food – and maybe comfort – Tuesday. The drive-thru line at the McDonald’s on Mormon Trek Boulevard in Iowa City was 20 cars deep at 11:15 a.m. Employees had locked the doors and weren’t answering the phone, apparently focusing on filling drive-thru orders for hot fries and burgers.

Hardee’s, in Coralville, lost its sign to high winds Monday, but still was serving customers Tuesday afternoon.